Evaluating the creative outpours of a dear friend can be a little tricky. On the one hand, there’s a conscious lack of objectivity since you’re willing to brainlessly approve of anything they do and applaud them. After all, this wonderful person’s fabricated this crooked vase which therefore is the prettiest vase ever made. So now we’ve established the underlying logic.
On the other hand, there’s this dull feeling if said friend makes a complete fool of themselves. Now this can only be made worse if it is objective criticism that’s desired, perhaps even substantiated reasons and arguments. Tricky. But not so with Tim. I only discovered his homepage after a mutual friend informed me of its existence. I sat down at my kitchen table, all by myself and without the tension of politeness, clicking through all the photos and videos with great interest until my coffee had turned cold and my silent amazement into gushy pride. I was actually only hoping to find out what someone I hadn’t heard from in ages had been up to, but in fact I realised that Tim, as every so often, had only divulged very little during all this time. I excitedly sprinted into my flatmates‘ rooms, dragged them into the kitchen and proudly pointed at my laptop. “Check this out, Timmy’s got a homepage now!”
His images strike a chord with the viewer since they manage to grasp the person behind the photo while also keeping the focus on the main theme. Metaphorically speaking, that is. All too often, photographers tend to forget about the personal angle, conferred onto the motive through the lens. A photo can tell stories and sometimes you can even hear the narrator’s voice, you can guess the facial expression, you can see what the other person saw and reach out for that moment. This is what makes a photo an image, a detail sharing a glimpse of someone else’s perception. Transgressing the medium that limits them and revealing what more is behind and next to the 6 by 4 inches of the paper print. Tim’s photos show simple things, yet a lot more. They can do without fancy captures and the kind of sarcasm that leaves a bitter aftertaste and without any degradation of the depicted.
I believe the authenticity of the moment in Tim’s photos because I know that he makes sure of it, that he does not interfere or disturb by his presence. You can but only be at ease in Tim’s company, which is obvious through the facial expressions of his subjects. He’s not one of those people with a camera who slowly shove their lens into your face before whispering: „Just pretend I’m not even here. Be natural.“ He disappears (despite an impressive height of nearly 6 ft. 7”) and, for the duration of the shoot, he morphs into the wallpaper in which you can confide everything- if you want to. And afterwards he emerges again and asks if you fancy a beer or 10 – which you do.
Perhaps you are an equally great inspiration to others. Tim – I am proud of you.
(Want to find out more? http://www.timmaxeiner.com )
(Translation by the talented Christine Maier.)